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Our Father’s Mother

We called her Ceci, short for Cecilia and she was the mother of our father.  Ceci was the kind who would wake up in the middle of the night and move from room to room seeking evidence to use against us in the morning.

“I am so tired” I would say in the morning.

“Yes! Why wouldn’t you? When you were up all night” she would bellow

“Gosh, my ear hurts.” And she would reply “Why wouldn’t it? When you spend the whole night on your cell phone?”

Ceci was a cunning and foxy old woman; with the body of a 65year old but a mind of a 15year old girl.  She would prank us; by faking she was dead. One morning, I went to her room because she had slept for unusual hours. After shaking her for minutes with no luck, I panicked and screamed. Then she burst out laughing. Angry and feeling so silly, I left her room and avoided her for three whole days. Believe me, being able to avoid Ceci for three whole days was a big deal.

Ceci was everywhere, everyday. She would complain of tiredness, but never had any rest. Sleep to her meant wasting the little years of life she had left, and she would rather not do that. One thing she do, which we obviously hated was her “history classes”.

She would say when we refused to take dinner because we didn’t like the food “When I was your age, I never dared to tell my mother what I wanted to take for dinner.”

And when we hang out till a bit late, Ceci would bellow “I never dared to come home this late when I was your age.”

We just rolled our eyes and gave the “yeah yeah, whatever look.”

Ceci was a great nanny though; she would always take care of us even when we were so mischievous. And when she wanted to get back at us for being so naughty, she would sit us down and slyly coerce us into doing some chores. She would offer two options; to watch cartoons or to watch videos of Michael Jackson. She knew we would always prefer the latter, so as smart as she was, she added conditions.

Clean your rooms and watch cartoons; your favourite cartoons or clean the whole house, this small house and have the delight of watching Michael do his dance moves.  Of course, we always wanted to do Michael Jackson. My brother and I would dress up like him and try to do the zombie dance in thriller, but first we had to clean the whole house. Yes, I called it blackmail. She blackmailed us. Ceci always won; either which ways she would get us to do some chores. Living with her was adventure; she was the naughty old woman who would hide behind the closet to “boo” at us. After she scared us, she would laugh and pour for herself a warm glass of milk for a job well done.

The pranks continued until one afternoon, my brother and I found her in bed. Though unusual, we thought she was probably playing a prank on us so we left her. But after some hours, we realized her position was still unchanged and that was when we decided to wake her up. We found her stiff and cold; Ceci had died in her sleep. And though she was physically gone, I saw her each day in my mind’s eye, hidden behind the closet, waiting to “boo” at me…

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